President Joe Biden announced on Thursday a sweeping vaccination mandate for large businesses that would affect more than 80 million Americans.
Biden's mandate will require employees to be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing for the coronavirus. It will apply to companies with more than 100 workers. He pointed out that many companies already enforce the rule.
The president said that he was enacting the plan because of a recent spike of the pandemic due to the Delta variant.
"We're in a tough stretch," Biden said, "and it's gonna last for a while."
He went on to say that he would issue an executive order that would call for federal workers and contractors to get vaccinated without any exception. This would apply to another 18 million Americans.
"If you want to do business with the federal government, get your workforce vaccinated," Biden said.
Biden went on to say that the 80 million Americans who remain unvaccinated are causing a lot of damage by using up available hospital bed space.
"This isn't about freedom, or personal choice, it's about protecting those people around you, and the people you love," said Biden.
"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for?" he asked rhetorically. "What more do you need to see? We've made vaccinations free, safe and convenient. We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us."
Critics of the Biden administration will no doubt cite the various times that Biden officials and health officials have promised there would be no federal vaccine mandate.
In July, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said it was not the federal government's role to issue vaccine mandates.
In August, Dr. Anthony Fauci said there would not be a federal vaccine mandate while calling on local governments and businesses to issue their own mandates.
"This is very serious business," Fauci said at the time. "You would wish that people would see why it's so important to get vaccinated. But you're not going to get mandates centrally from the federal government."
Here's more about Biden's vaccine mandate:
President Joe Biden expected to announce 6-pronged approach to combating COVID-19www.youtube.com